* Posts by Ken Moorhouse

1267 posts • joined 26 Jul 2007

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Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim

Ken Moorhouse
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Resurrect Red Flag Traffic Laws...

Red Flag Traffic Laws would require all motorists piloting their "driverless carriages", upon chance encounters with cattle or livestock to (1) immediately stop the vehicle, (2) "immediately and as rapidly as possible ... disassemble the automobile", and (3) "conceal the various components out of sight, behind nearby bushes" until equestrian or livestock is sufficiently pacified.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_flag_traffic_laws

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Ken Moorhouse
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Remember those TomTom's with personalised voices?

Will the vendor of the vehicle give choices as to the personality of the AI driving it?

Lewis Hamilton anyone? What about Jeremy Clarkson? Linus Torvalds? Steve Ballmer?

If the learn switch is flicked to "on" what would be your reaction to hiring a car that had acquired an Elon Musk personality?

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Blinking internets, Batman! O2 trials 5G over lightbulbs

Ken Moorhouse
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A true "light-bulb" moment

Brilliant.

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Google risks mega-fine in EU over location 'stalking'

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: a 2km square pinpoints your exact home.

In the Highlands, I'm certain. But IF the centre of that square is always where the device is located then I'm sure that would give the same effect even in Central London.

There is the other side of data anonymisation too. In the United States a property owner in a sparsely populated area complained bitterly that whenever a not overly specific Zip Code was typed in to a webisite, their particular property always popped up, which meant that people were contacting them for various products and services which they knew nothing about.

(Now if that property owner were a bit entrepreneurial they would either be selling their property at a premium price for its superior search engine credentials, or setting up an appropriate business).

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Too many leftover screws? Ikea website backend goes TITSUP

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: there is something wrong with the Swedish calendar

The Swedes did drag their heels somewhat badly about doing things Pope Gregory's way.

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Algol wall mounted shelves

AFAIK Algol doesn't have an explicit do forever structure.

If you had built them from Scratch however...

https://en.scratch-wiki.info/wiki/Forever_(block)

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Ken Moorhouse
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Assembler

Perhaps their web server was written in Assembler and the staff couldn't understand the Instruction Set.

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Wasted worker wasps wanna know – oi! – who are you looking at?

Ken Moorhouse
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Headmaster

Re: Does that mean that the queen wasp doesn't have a stinger?

Well Frank,

Now that you've mentioned it, it's time to sit down and have a chat about things...

About the birds and the bees...

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Ken Moorhouse
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Bee Sting

Anyone who remembers Thick Ethernet will no doubt remember the pain and agony of bee stings, which could only be inserted at a minimum of 2.5 metre intervals to tap the network signal (cables were marked with the minimum insertion points). Our biggest client at the time had a server room with three or four servers in it... and a bloody great coil of thick ethernet cable to go with them. (Thick Ethernet cable was a lot less flexible than parallel printer cables, and about as thick).

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Ken Moorhouse
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Issue them all with...

WASBO's

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Here's a fab idea: Get crypto libs to warn devs when they screw up

Ken Moorhouse
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OK. Own up. How many coders...

Put code into their apps which silently discard unhandled errors?

(Whatever other programming misdemeanours I'm guilty of, that is one I can put hand on heart and say "not me").

>Seventy-three per cent of the participants who received the security advice fixed their insecure code.

Surely that's 27% who either put up with the embarrassment of that warning message or silently suppress it.

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Medical device vuln allows hackers to falsify patients' vitals

Ken Moorhouse
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Manufacturer's T's&C's...

Just need to point out that their kit is for private LAN use only. The equipment is not to be used on LAN's connected to a WAN.

IMHO development of this kind of kit - surmounting the medical technicalities is far more important to all parties than its ability to work with, say Windows 10.

If the developers were expected to provide their kit for systems loaded with Win 10 then they'd either be spending a lot of development resources ensuring that Win 10 did not demand an update halfway through a critical medical event, or they'd have to put a disclaimer in their T's&C's about it not working entirely flawlessly using Windows 10 as the host Operating system.

Which would you prefer at the side of your hospital bed? A DOS screen, or a W10 one?

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Microsoft gets edge on AWS with Azure Stack for government

Ken Moorhouse
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Full circle

So it is tacitly agreed that remote-Cloud data storage is not perfect. This story indicates that On-prem Cloud is the new way to go.

The difference between On-prem cloud and an On-prem server is that the latter can be maintained by your I.T. department. But because you've shed those jobs and no longer have an I.T. department you are forced to deal with the remotely-based On-prem Cloud team if you need tech support.

So how is that going to work?

Either a remotely-based on-prem Cloud representative will come round and fix your On-prem Cloud appliance (cue memories of calling out British Gas to service your boiler which is under a BG service contract) OR (in most circumstances) the remotely-based Cloud representative can dial-in to your On-prem Cloud appliance and figure out what's wrong. As presumably you will not have access to the gubbins of the On-prem Cloud appliance to mend it yourself.

Hmm, that doesn't sound so nice from a security angle.

Plus, how many times will you hear the excuse - ah, your Router/Firewall is mis-configured, I can't see your On-prem Cloud appliance, or you seem to have an internet problem?

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Criminal justice software code could send you to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it

Ken Moorhouse
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Maybe the algorithms are secret...

That doesn't mean to say that the inputs used in a specific case are. Presumably the inputs used are recorded by the court.

If the defending side wanted to argue fairness they should be entitled to call for a re-run of the algorithm but with each contentious input changed by request (I'm thinking a similar idea to that used for jury selection). If changing a date of birth, for example, had a significant impact on the outcome then you know that there is something untoward embedded in there.

Using that as an example, let's say that the authors of the system singled out their exact dates of births for special treatment (should their algorithm end up analysing them) then nobody would be any the wiser, except hitting on one at random.

The legal system should dictate that the defense is allowed to make x attempts to game radically different results with inputs within certain limits of those used against them in order to undermine the validity of the algorithm used.

One important point to note is that the algorithms used should be frozen for the length of the trial, otherwise a rerun, or amendments made to inputs during the trial may produce different results due to the addition of further field data.

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Talk about left Field: Apple lures back Tesla engineering guru

Ken Moorhouse
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They can't call it iCar

As it might get confused with a [dummy] virus (EICAR)

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The last phablet? 6.4in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaves you $1k lighter, needs 'water cooling'

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Water cooling, what's the point?

It's a built-in fire extinguisher, should it be needed.

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For all the excitement, Pie may be Android's most minimal makeover yet – thankfully

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Swipe up on home butt

Careful otherwise you may interfere with the device's Pro State.

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UK taxman told: IR35 still isn't working in the public sector, and you want to take it private?

Ken Moorhouse
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CEST la vie

Such is life.

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Oh, fore putt's sake: Golf org PGA bunkered up by ransomware attack just days before tournament

Ken Moorhouse
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Sandbox

It is against their principles to use one.

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Japanese dark-web drug dealers are so polite, they'll offer 'a refund' if you're not satisfied

Ken Moorhouse
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The Register's Lecture by Jamie Bartlett

IIRC he got a similar impression from the sites he visited.

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Greybeard greebos do runner from care home to attend world's largest heavy metal fest Wacken

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Tales From Topographic Oceans

The only prize I've ever won on a media show was tickets to see the above film on the big screen at Hammersmith Odeon. I seem to remember it was on Nicky Horne's show. In those days everyone had rotary dial phones and, with the number of tickets on offer felt I was in with a chance. Not their best album, but I wouldn't call it bad either.

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Echoes

I seem to remember "Little Nicky Horne" had a segment of his "Your Mother Wouldn't Like It" show on Capital Radio (it might even have been before the move to 194 from 539) which was an uninterrupted long track such as (I distinctly remember) "Echoes". Pink Floyd were popular in that segment because of their several album-length tracks. Traffic were also popular with "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys", "Paper Sun", "Dear Mr Fantasy". There was a track which I've never been able to hunt down since, don't know who by, about the Wright Brothers building their prototype plane in Walthamstow (anyone know of this?).

Tommy Vance seemed to have a lot of leeway in his shows as to playlist, featuring some really good early full length Chicago [Transit Authority] tracks, as well as shows devoted to reggae.

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Facebook deletes 17 accounts, dusts off hands, beams: We've saved the 2018 elections

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: older stories are archived and instantly available

Not sure if it is happening so much now, but occasionally a really old story on the Beeb would make it into the Most Read section. There was the case of someone who had died years ago and the story somehow bubbled up to the top. There were a lot of obituary style posts on social media, with people correcting them, saying that this was old news.

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MessageBird, Twilio tout low-code tools for DIY comms app plumbing

Ken Moorhouse
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/rant

The techies I used to succesfully compete with for business would use the "shiny shiny" approach to selling. I would ask whether it was more important that the figures were adding up correctly, rather than whether the screen background could be customised. I still have one customer using a DOS accounts package, and another using Pegasus Mail because they do the job, even though the underlying OS conspires to disrupt people from using legacy systems.

Nowadays I'm not competing peer to peer, as it were, effectively I'm competing with mega-corporations with the "shiny shiny" of The Cloud. "Your data is safe in The Cloud." Who are they going to believe? I've had clients telling me what they want, based on conversations they've had with The Joneses at parties.

Peer group pressure is causing people to abandon rational thought in order to pursue the "shiny shiny" of promises that cannot be kept. "It's all right though, everyone is in the same boat" is the answer given in response to my concerns as to the efficacy of such moves.

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Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: “Broadcast” is the old word for scattering seed

Hmm Savile seems to have taken this metaphor a bit too literally.

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: It really is very good indeed and appears to be functioning perfectly.

Are you sure? It seems to be corrupting specific words with <censored>

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I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: solutions to the Irish border (an EU problem not ours)

Whether or not it is an EU problem, it is a very convenient obstacle to disrupt Brexit negotiations.

This, I suggest, is the straw that will break the camel's back.

If it doesn't then don't forget Gibraltar. Or has that been properly dealt with?

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Stockpiling - codejunky

I'm aware May campaigned originally as a remainer.

What I canot comprehend is, if this is her hidden agenda, why she should go on this ludicrous goose-chase of pretending to do Brexit with the ultimate goal of saying "Ah, we can't do it, let's scrub the whole idea." She has not only shredded her own credibility, but she is taking the whole ship with her, ruining many distinguished politicians (and many not so distinguished) careers in the process. More important, she is playing such dangerous games with the population of UK to the extent that kills people's livelihoods. Oh yes, she will be remembered when she steps down, but not in a nice way. She appears not to be bothered by her epitaph. Maybe she thinks she's a second Maggie but if she thinks that she is deluded.

You didn't like my conclusion? With Brexit people seem to have a habit of customarily dismissing arguments based not on the compelling arguments made by someone willing to get on their soap-box to express their opinion, but on the "side" that they are on. So I thought I would dispense with that distraction from my train of thought.

It doesn't matter what side I am on, I am a UK citizen and a patriotic one at that. I'm old enough to remember when we were trying to get into the Common Market, and the frustration of (it appears) de Gaulle's repeated "Non!" in the newspapers. I want what is best for the UK, for my family, and for me. From "first principles" any government talking about stockpiling is going down a very dangerous path indeed. Is it right that politicians egos should dominate government policy? I think not.

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Ken Moorhouse
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Stockpiling

Does that word not resonate with anyone that still wants Brexit?

The fact that it came out of more than one Tory politician's mouth, rather than some scaremongering media-type, should put the fear of $deity into us all.

Why? Because politicians of the incumbent party have a vested interest in painting a rosy picture of future situations which have been enacted in accordance with their actions.

If that is a rosy picture, strip off the petals and leaves and see the thorns beneath them.

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Politicians need ... get some work done to keep negative effects down to a minimum.

That's the worrying thing. The negative things will happen and then reactively dealt with. In the old days of Bristow we used to joke about the Civil Service's love of "everything in triplicate". For the foreseeable future we are going to see policies in triplicate - not exact copies, but varieties that are dictated by the specific Brexit flavour taken, and if (as likely) it is an intermediate flavour, everyone will be "winging it" whilst keeping fingers crossed.

The trouble with the USA is that official policy seems to be dictated by what emanates from POTUS' mouth at a particular moment in time, as demonstrated (for example) by comments made by Trump prior to meeting May, then retracted upon her visit.

Ireland is the main reason why Brexit is so difficult. Ireland gives us the perfect reason to say let's scrap the whole idea of Brexit on the basis that the electorate weren't properly informed about this problem prior to the referendum. Let's reconvene this whole question once the long-term direction of Ireland is crystallised - there is still work to do and Brexit is interfering with that work. Treat this as a dry run if you wish. An abrupt rupture at this juncture could open old wounds... maybe this is what that Amazon guy was alluding to.

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Ken Moorhouse
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If...

If the main roads in Kent turn into tanker parks and this results in shortages of fuel then this could trigger a feedback loop. That loop would involve the food chain, not just for imports but for home manufactured goods too, which still needs transporting.

Yes, the Kent tanker parks have occurred before, but here we're talking all European routes into the UK, not just the channel.

The other thing to consider is the "hi-tech" UK/Eire border. Has anyone here got a friend who is working on the infrastructure for that? Can we find out how that project is going, please? No, I know nothing is set in stone yet, but even if that has been worked on for some years there are going to be glitches, and here on The Register, we are all well aware of how well-written infrastructure systems are implemented (do I need the sarcasm tags?). The fact is that Ireland has still got to import/export directly with the EU, currently it makes sense for that to happen through the UK, what happens after Brexshit? So we can add these elements to our feedback loop, which is additive to the feedback loop I started with. Except that this could have a detrimental effect on Ireland's ability to trade internationally, which is something that the EU will take a great interest in, being one of their member states is being affected.

Transport and basic living essentials have got to be ring-fenced, then everything should be stable. Goes without saying IMHO, but consider the situation that arose recently where there was a shortage of CO2. This seemed to catch the government unawares (correct me if I'm wrong), but they seemed to leave "market forces" to deal with it. Having been exposed to the stories about this I'm sure we can now agree that this situation should not be allowed to happen again - because it could impact adversely on the food chain.

My point? Oh yes, civil unrest. Well if there's queues for petrol and food then you're going to need to police those queues, judging by the behaviour of people buying on Black Friday two years ago.

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The wheel turns slowly, but it turns: Feds emit IoT security tip sheet

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Doctor Who

The Daleks of the future will be programmed to utter:-

ExterminIoT

...and will thus become the "good guys".

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: election swinging?

Convert your boiler into an IoT device and you are likely to find yourself in hot water.

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2TB or not 2TB: Microsoft fiddles with OneDrive as competition offers twice the storage

Ken Moorhouse
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Do you get warned if you go over the data limit?

Is there a OneDrive Repair Tool?

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Beam me up, UK.gov: 'Extra-terrestrial markup language' booted off G-Cloud

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: WET

Hi Paul

I'm in the poor part of Ealing now, and can't claim to be international :-(

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: the Government, notoriously short of cash

They found some down the back of the SETI.

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FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: 4 thumbs up & 1 thumb down

I wonder what Theresa May's username is on this forum.

(Surely she is the only person on the planet who honestly thinks Brexit is going well).

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: <insert other ridiculous claim here>

- Organise Brexit

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Man on the sun

Not sure what the journey time to the sun would be (judging by the queues to use the Channel Tunnel at present, due to a few temperature problems, probably infinite), google says 19 years. By that time any encrypted messages should easily have been cracked, so he just needs to be patient.

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Brit web host biz UKFast gears up to IPO on London Stock Exchange

Ken Moorhouse
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UKFast

That is what we will be doing if stockpiling goes ahead.

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Some Things just aren't meant to be (on Internet of Things networks). But we can work around that

Ken Moorhouse
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Re: electrons / photons error

Would that be Layer 0? Has anybody bothered doing a spec for that?

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Ken Moorhouse
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I had a surreal conversation with a plumber recently...

All I did was to give a BT-HomeHub its last rites and stick in another consumer Modem Router.

My client sounded more perplexed than annoyed when he rang to tell me "The boiler's not working on my Iphone."

I then spoke to their plumber who started talking about "switching it off and switching it back on again". Before I could say "Hang on a minute m8, that kind of language is reserved for IT people" he was telling me to look out for a MAC address on the side of the boiler controller.

It took a while to sort that one out, but at the end of the exercise the boiler manufacturer agreed that they had given us duff information about what to do if your router is changed. Some configuration was needed at their end.

How many IoT device users have abandoned their devices because it is just such hard work trying to maintain them?

I mentioned this to my client, but having just spent a lot on the boiler it is not something you can rip out and say is unacceptable just because the app doesn't work reliably. Before replacing it he should bizarrely be discussing his choice with an IT person, as well as his plumber.

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In Microsoft land, cloud comes to you! Office 365 stuff to be bled into on-prem Office 2019 Server

Ken Moorhouse
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This is the first thing that came into my mind as I read this...

http://www.bandituk.co.uk/

Or for those of you using nanny-knows-best browsers:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AlQYgT8g6o

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Google Translate spews doomsday messages, Facebook snatches boffins, and more in AI

Ken Moorhouse
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Trump

Type that in and select Russian, and look at the varieties that come up...

This is one of the variations to appear:-

славный малый

good fellow, good sort, nice chap, sport, trump

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Ken Moorhouse
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Re: Who types in "dog" 18 times to Google translate

Someone with dogged determination.

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